climate action; it requires our attention now more than ever

climate action; it requires our attention now more than ever

September 14th, 2018 was the final day of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, where leaders and citizens alike came together to discuss the success of the climate movement so far, as well as looking to the future at what else must be done. It was an epic event of compassion, emotion and devotion to the health of our planet and everything and everyone that calls it home.

So why did I watch the three major UK news channels for an hour the day of the conference and see not one mention of the GCAS2018?

Global media has a duty to make climate action engaging, enthralling and eclectic

Vital to future successes within the climate movement is widespread interest and engagement from the general public. As citizens, we need to be livid when climate legislation is chipped away at by Donald Trump, heartbroken as more of Sumatra burns for the harvesting of palm oil, and loud and proud when historic deals are made amongst governments to lower carbon emissions further each year.

Yet, to suggest that everyone has the time or energy to devote their already busy lives to seeking and engaging with often complicated legislation and debates within the arena is absurd. What is not absurd, is to suggest that global, mainstream media should be covering this section of history with absolute devotion. Or that we should see and hear more of the movement on social media. Quite literally, it is future-defining for us all, and we are doing the movement and the people carrying it on their backs an immense disservice by leaving so much of it out of the public eye.

Caring about the future of our plant doesn’t have to be dull

In fact, it’s the opposite. Whilst it can be tiring and frustrating, it’s incredibly interesting and motivating on a personal level. The climate movement reflects a unique moment in our history, whereby, as a collective, we can alter the course of our planet. The ability to now totally reverse human-induced climate change on the scale we are seeing is impossible, but we can, without a doubt, minimise its negative implications and come up with ingenious tactics to combat it. It’s important to be aware of the scale of the issue at hand, without letting that paralyse us. We are where we are, and all we can do now is use all our might to deal with it in the best way possible. Climate scientist Michael E. Mann spoke on the matter in July:

“It is not going off a cliff, it is like walking out into a minefield,” he said. “So the argument it is too late to do something would be like saying: ‘I’m just going to keep walking.’ That would be absurd – you reverse course and get off that minefield as quick as you can. It is really a question of how bad it is going to get.”

Michael E. Mann in The Guardian, July 2018

Mitigation and adaption are necessary to reduce the impacts we will feel from human-induced climate change, and to adapt to the degree of change that will definitely impact livelihoods and food security. From geo-engineering to carbon sinks, these tactics can be engaging and interesting (albeit controversial) and deserve attention. Publicising them and spreading engagement is thus necessary.

the time for change is now

quote by me (lol)

I don’t believe that people simply don’t care. People don’t know, sure, and people are fed lies, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be taught. Harnessing the power of social media is key to spreading awareness of the climate movement’s progress, and what we can do to help it prosper, but that requires engagement and interest from those with large followings. We are beyond the point of being able to simply not care, of shrugging it off and hoping someone else will pick up the pieces.

Supporters of the Protestwelle (Protest Wave) demonstrate in Hamburg to raise awareness on climate and energy as well as social inequality and democracy issues. Image belongs to www.greenpeace.org.uk.

It’s our children that will feel the impact. Parts of our countries will be underwater by the time our grandchildren are taking their first steps. Mitigation and adaption tactics can and will make a real, tangible difference in our lives.

The first step? Opening our eyes. The second? Caring about our futures. And the third is action.

  • Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation, Challenges and Opportunities in the Food Sector, read here.

2 thoughts on “climate action; it requires our attention now more than ever”

  • I think as time is passing by more people is aware of how bad we have been treating and still treating our planet. I hope this is the beginning for a change. In my personal case, this year at uni we are talking a lot about how to take care of environment in our jobs. As chemists, working almost all day in the lab, how we can do something and think about possible solutions. So, hopefully we are in our way to the change we need. Although, I think people need to get more information because a lot of times we don’t hear about important things such as the problem that is palm oil for orangutans (I know about this because I receive an email from Greenpeace talking about it).
    Maybe next step is news channel talking about everything, even our planet.

    Great post. This summer I started reading some of your posts and I really like them, so please carry on!

    • Hey Ana! That’s wicked that you’re addressing these topics in your degree, must be really interesting. I agree, media, particularly news channels have to start shedding more light on these topics ASAP. Thanks for reading and caring, i’ll defo carry on! x

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